level 2 cache?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Jayford, Apr 11, 2004.

  1. Does the size of level 2 cache make much difference?

    If one laptop has 128k vs 512k for another, but more expensive one (both have identical 512 MB ram), is there any reason to go for the spendy one.

    In other words, how much diff does level 2 cache make?


  2. You have described the primary difference between a Celeron and a Pentium CPU.
  3. nitro


    Well, not exactly. The old style Xeons (< 1.8 I believe) only had 256k cache.

    To the original poster, it almost certainly make a difference. But unless you are doing something that requires some computational horsepower, you will hardly notice it.

  4. If you're looking at machines with different L2 sizes, then they also have different processor types (since L2 is now integral to the processor dye instead of outboarded).

    And if you're looking at different processor types, then you've likely got more differences involved than just the L2 size to compare (and even the physical L2 implementations can differ by more than size).

    If you're looking at a machine with only 128K of L2, then it's got to be Celeron-based vs. the other machine(s) which will be using straight P4s or mobile P4s (Centrinos have 1M of L2, so you must not be looking at a Centrino-based machine).

    Lots of factors determine overall system performance - most are more important than L2 size.

    However, a basic generalization would be that a Celeron-based machine will be noticably slower than a non-Celeron-based machine of comparable clock speed for many tasks.

    On the other hand, a 1.7 GHz Centrino-based (not to be confused with Celeron-based) notebook would tend to slightly outperform a 2.6 GHz mobile P4-based notebook.
  5. You guys nailed that on the head. Its a Celeron vs P4, which has been discussed at length. I did not know until now that L2 cache was determined here though. Thanks for the education techies.